Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The girl formally known as Thumper

photo (60)


At the dinner table a few days ago, Thumper squealed, “I know!” and both My Guy and I looked at her, anticipating a follow-up to her announcement, albeit a little surprised as she had never said that before. Instead, she went back to toying with her fork, as if nothing had happened, as if she didn’t just deliberately yell, I know!

We laughed.

She must have heard that from her sister, who “I know”s everything and who, at the time, was in the shower by herself (oh yes, showering alone is a thing now with a certain four-year-old in this house, especially on swim-class days). Thumper’s exclamation was mere regurgitation. A copycat move.

Then, over the monitor yesterday, I heard her communicating with her sister, “I know! I know! I know!” and she would follow up with something that made sense, like “you be the mommy; me be the baby”. I guess she figured it out after all.

Today, before naptime, while we were discussing which buddies would share the honor with her in the crib, Thumper had her hand next to her face, pointed her index finger to the sky, and exclaimed, “I have idea! Me bring my baby blanket to sleep with me!”

At 25 months, Thumper is slowly getting the hang of intangible concepts. However, I do find it funny that she has mastered “either” and “though”, as in “Me no yike it either!” or “Me tired; me don’t want to go to seep though...” but she still uses “me” in place of “I”.

I don’t correct her though. These little language hiccups will eventually pass, and I will soon have in my hands another little girl who will succinctly argue her way out of wearing an outfit I chose because she just doesn’t do tee-shirts.

For now, I smile at her mispronunciations and marvel at how she, too, will find her way around the language. Just a mere few weeks ago, if you’d asked her her name, she would adamantly say, “Me Pitou!”

What she meant was, I’m Pickle. For some reason, she had attached herself to that nickname even though I had only called her that in jest once. Now I feel obligated to change her nickname on the blog from Thumper to Pickle, as it only seems right.

She had long outgrown her first nickname, given to her when she was an active kicker in my belly, but even though she still thumps and stomps around the house, her insistence on being called “Pitou” certainly trumps her prenatal name, when I had no idea who she would turn out to be.

Pickle, right now, feels right. I struggled with it at first to associate the sourness of pickles with my sweet girl, and then I realized that not all pickles are sour. They can also be sweet. And salty. And spicy! Just like the surprising and delightful banchan that accompanies Korean meals. So many flavors and textures!

Now that I can see. Because she is definitely all those things. Kind and compassionate, feisty and bold, funny and impish, all rolled into one.

Pickle certainly works for her.

Or rather, if she were to say it, Pitou. But someday soon, Pickle will appear flawlessly out of her mouth as she continues to shed her babyhood and leave traces of what she once was behind.

No one would even know that she had once upon a time called herself Pitou, or had an adorable lisp – “me baby peentheth (princess)!” –, or had sweetly and politely said “thank you” when the pediatric cardiologist remarked that she was the best patient after a considerable amount of prodding to clear her heart murmur, saying it was completely normal.

No one, that is, but her daddy and me. How could we ever forget?


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